"Hey Dooocy!" The calls scattered around the gymnasium at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, bounced off the basketball court and wood bleachers, and eventually settled into the cacophony of the surroundings. WRC-TV feature reporter Steve Doocy had been recognized again. "It's kind of goofy," he said. "I like it. I'm like Mr. Que Pasa." "Hey Dooocy! Are we going to be on TV?" He acknowledged the students' calls with a wave and smile, but he had something else to think about. Doocy had come to do a report about the school's unusual fund-raising scheme, a Jello wrestling contest. But there'd been a snag -- the Jello hadn't gelled yet, and there was going to be a delay. "They're not ready!" he screamed in mock horror, pulling his blond hair straight up. So while various minions scrambled with buckets of green liquid and ice, Doocy strolled around the gym, shook a hand or two and laughed politely at a few students who tried to say something humorous to the man who makes his living by being funny. The students weren't the only ones to recognize Doocy for who he is and what he does. He has also been recognized by the Washington chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. At this spring's awards ceremony, Doocy walked away with three Emmys, one in the talent category and two for producing winning news segments. This particular day, Doocy was in the field working on the kind of material that has made his one of the most distinctive segments on local news programs. B-CC High was getting a glimpse of the "field" Doocy (as opposed to the tie-and-jacketed "newsroom" Doocy). He could almost pass for a student himself. He's 32, but with his insouciant demeanor and his choice of clothing -- khaki pants, white-and-blue-striped shirt and loafers -- he looks much younger. And sometimes, he has to act a bit younger. Or younger at heart. This time, for instance, it seemed that the folks behind this stunt wanted him to get in the ring and wrestle. "Hey Dooocy! Are you gonna wrestle?" Stunts are nothing new to Doocy. In some of his other feature pieces for WRC's "Live at Five" newscast, Doocy has skied down the side of the Washington Monument and been catapulted from a circus tent on The Mall into the Capitol rotunda. Of course, he had a little help from the station's graphics department which provided some special effects. But this time, there's only Doocy, three husky students and a wrestling ring filled with green Jello. This is television journalism? You bet. "Some people have misconceptions about feature reporters, that they exist in their own worlds and have their own agenda," said Bret Marcus, news director at WRC. "But Steve's a real smart guy and an avid newsman. His stuff is usually very topical." Doocy's venture on this day might not have been topical, but it was fun. And that's also important to Marcus. "Unfortunately, in this age we live in and the city we live in, I'd be hard pressed to say that news is fun to watch," he said, citing the drug-related violence that has erupted in Washington in recent years. "But I think it's nice to end the broadcast with something nice, something to make people smile." And Doocy knows how to make people smile -- not only the viewers but also the folks who are the subjects of his segments. "Is this safe? Is there any way I could get hurt?" he facetiously asked the Jello wrestling promoter, a man from Tennessee. "Well, you might drownt innit," came the reply through a gap-toothed grin. After some gratuitous arm-twisting, Doocy agreed to grapple, but not before he inquired about "a green room" for him to change into the T-shirt and shorts he'd been handed. As the students cheered and the camera rolled, he flopped about the ring with the student-athletes, getting sticky and green in the process. He directed the young men into various positions for the camera and then finished off the match by squirting whipped cream all over the other wrestlers. (He later says in his report that "they got their just desserts.") After 20 minutes of these hijinks, Doocy headed for the lockerroom to shower. The battle was ended but the war was far from won. "Now it's sprint time," he said. Back at WRC-TV, Doocy tried to do two things at once: He flipped a video machine from fast forward to pause with one hand, and tried to eat a sandwich and take notes with the other. "I don't know about you, but I'm giddy," he said between mouthfuls. Yes, Steve Doocy was giddy. But who wouldn't be after spending an afternoon wallowing in Jello? Now it was time to get somewhat serious. It was after 4 p.m. and Doocy had to finish his feature piece for "Live at Five." "A regular news story is pretty easy to tell because there's a car wreck or explosion," he said, as he threw the remnants of his lunch at a nearby wastebasket -- and missed. "We're making everything up here." And while the average viewer at home might not recognize the hours of work that go into a two-minute feature news segment, the folks at Doocy's station certainly do. "I sit here watching his stuff every day, and I wonder, 'How does he do it?' " said Marcus, "He'll be here at 10 in the morning, and seven hours later he'll have a great piece with wonderful production. He'll take the germ of an idea and turn it into something marvelous." A colleague poked her head in the door during Doocy's editing session and asked, "Did you do it?" When Doocy showed her his green Jello-stained ankles, she said, "I knew it. I knew the big kid couldn't resist." It seems that there was some minor betting among the newsroom personnel about whether Doocy would actually get into the Jello ring to cover the story from the inside perspective. "The thing about being in TV feature work is that you have to be flexible. I didn't plan to jump in the Jello," said Doocy. "I really didn't want to or I would have bought a change of clothes." Doocy really didn't plan on being a television reporter either, but he apparently was flexible enough with his academic career to change his major during his freshman year at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. "I graduated from high school in '75 and it was about the time that Woodward and Bernstein had just stirred the pot in Washington and I thought, 'Gee whiz, it would be cool to be a newspaper reporter.' "I went to college in the fall and the first day I'm there, I'm walking to the journalism building and I walk past the college radio station and it was loud, and there's funky music coming out. Somehow I wind up in the building." The young man from Industry, Kan. (population 47: "seven of them were Doocys") couldn't believe that college students actually got to run a radio station. "Being a corn-fed kid from Kansas -- a corn-flake-fed kid from Kansas -- I thought that was just too cool for school." Doocy signed up to be a disc jockey, and his broadcasting career was hatched. Then came an offer to be a weatherman in nearby Topeka where a classmate was producing a daily news show. It was a task he didn't think he was particularly prepared for. "I didn't know anything about the weather. I said, 'I can't do this because I haven't taken any meteorology classes.'" The producers assured him that he didn't need any experience, but then "they went on to say that it was the hardest job on the newscast because you had to talk for four minutes and nothing was written down. And, you know, that was terrifying. There were numbers on the board, but you just can't say '62!' " But the pressure of ad libbing gave Doocy a chance to experiment. Enter Steve Doocy, the wacky weatherman. "I was kind of a fun weatherman. When you're a weatherman you can either be a real scientist, like {WRC's} Bob Ryan, or you can be like Willard {Scott of NBC} and be an entertainer. And I certainly wasn't a scientist. "I did the light thing. Like on the day of the Three Mile Island incident, I put the temperature for Harrisburg, Pa., at something like 712. I never mentioned it. It was just up on the board." After graduating in 1979, he was offered a position as a State House reporter. "I thought that would be a cool assignment because they said, 'You're our capital correspondent.' What it really meant was that I had to get up and do 'The Today Show' cut-ins at 7:25 and 8:25 a.m., you know those little three-minute blurbs -- 'Good morning, today in Topeka this happened and that happened.' "It was such an incredibly low-budget station, there was no one in the studio with me. There was no camera operator, there was no director. "There were two people in the station at the time. There was the guy who ran the transmitter and me. The transmitter guy would come out and focus the camera and say, 'Don't move!' Then he'd run back and at exactly the right time, he would push the button and there I was ... Right next to this camera with no operator, there was this clock. So I'm looking at the clock, I've got these shifty eyes. I'm looking at the camera, then the script, then the clock. You'd think I was on trial. I prided myself on the fact that I was always on time." His shifty-eyed approach was apparently good enough to land him a reporting job in Des Moines, Iowa. He regretted taking the position almost immediately. "I hated leaving Kansas because that's where I'm from." Deciding that there was no place like home, Doocy headed to Wichita for a stint as a "PM Magazine" host for 2 1/2 years. When an offer came to host a Kansas City version of the show, Doocy took the spot -- only to have the station cancel the show after three months. "Unbeknownst to me, they had purchased 'Wheel of Fortune.' I was replaced by Vanna White." Discouraged, Doocy took a long vacation and when he came back, the producer offered to keep him on as a feature news reporter. "He wanted a regular guy to be a lifestyle dude -- first person, you know. I did that for nine months and it was very popular. Then I got an offer from WRC in the fall of 1984. "They were expanding the 5:30 program. They wanted a show closer. I thought it was pretty nifty. It was kind of a big change, after working in the Borsch Belt of broadcasting, to the big leagues." But Doocy didn't find the nation's capital to be any more demanding of his talents. "I was doing exactly the same job that I was doing earlier. It was just a change of address." Doocy's home address now is "somewhere in Virginia," according to his press biography, which WRC claims he wrote. (That might explain the mention about his being nominated for best supporting actress for "Places in the Heart.") He met his wife Kathy while she was working in the WRC sports department. A former model, Kathy Garrity once had her own sports show on ESPN. The Doocys have a son, Peter, 2, and another child on the way. "When the 'Live at Five' music comes on, Peter will say to Mommy, 'Daddy! Daddy!' " said Doocy, laughing. So how does he explain to his son that his father sometimes does strange things on television? "When we were at George Washington Hospital birthing that baby, my wife and I were talking about how we were going to explain that Daddy is that knucklehead" on television. "I don't have an answer yet." But marriage, parenthood and suburban life haven't dulled his sense of the absurd that Doocy feels permeates Washington. "I think the kookiness is in a kind of different direction. When my wife and I lived in the city, I think our sensibilities were a little more urbane and urban. Now that we've moved out into 'Hooterville,' I think the sensibilities are more family-oriented. It's just the kind of irony of regular life and being a grown-up." So has fatherhood made him more grown-up? "No. It's just made me appreciate what my folks went through and what all folks go through. "Right now, I'm content. If I wanted to do something else, I'd try. I've gotten it down to the point where I can hammer these {feature stories} out every day with minimal hair loss. "So, if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Last week, Doocy took his act, which ain't broke, to New York City where he was to spend some time working on projects for NBC Productions/Group W. But he'll be back to WRC this week. Stay tuned for more of Mr. Que Pasa.